Natasha Huq at the Stone Symposium: The Case for Stone on Friday, July 12 05.07.2024
Scottish Design Awards 2024: Silver Award Winners 04.07.2024
Studio Day Out: Prestonpans 28.06.2024
Gunnar Groves-Raines at RSAW Spring Conference 2024 21.06.2024
5.06: The New Stone Age CPD with Pierre Biduad and Marcus Paine 10.06.2024
Advanced Conservation accreditation: Congratulations to Zoë Alston! 30.05.2024
198th Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition: RSA Architecture Prize 22.05.2024
Scottish Design Awards 2024 14.05.2024
House & Garden Top 100 interior designers and architects for 2024 03.05.2024
Collect 2024: Craft Scotland 03.03.2024
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The Quaich Project

GRAS worked with US-based design practice wHY and engineering firm Arup on the winning proposal to revitalise a nationally-important site in Edinburgh’s West Princes Street Gardens. As one of the city’s most famous landmark locations, there was a great responsibility to reimagine this historic place through a design that is both innovative and respectful to the people, wildlife, landscape and heritage of the Scottish capital.

The competition-winning proposal comprises an organic landscape-focused scheme that respects the historic setting but also animates the Gardens through the introduction of a new undulating promenade together with improved access from nearby Princes Street and sculptural seating with dynamic open views. The space could be used throughout the year to host an array of cultural, musical and artistic events and activities, with world-class facilities in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. The Quaich Project would also encourage daily use by residents and enhance connections between Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns through improved pathways and activation of this underused site.

Inspired by the Gardensgeology and history – from the volcanic forces to the man-made energy of the Victorian pleasure garden – the design subtly integrates the new visitor centre and pavilion into the folds of the landscape, allowing the castle to remain the main visual focus. The ‘quaich’ concept was informed by the topography of the land, which mirrors the bowl of a typical Scottish ‘sharing cup’. The scheme would increase the amount of green space relative to hard surfaces within the Gardens and is, in the teams words, “human scale with moments of drama… activating four layers of meaning within the Gardens: botanical, civic, commemorative and cultural.”


Edinburgh, Scotland


Ross Development Trust






World Architecture Festival: Culture – Future Projects Award 2019

Project Lead

Andrew Hodgkinson


Gunnar Groves-Raines

Lead Landscape Architect

Mark Thomann, wHY

Structural Engineers


The Quaich Project

The Quaich Project Details


Our vision is to develop a unique, world-class garden space full of nature and tranquillity set against the backdrop of Edinburgh’s vibrant and dynamic city life.
We are dedicated to creating a ‘space for all’ – where people can come together, memories can be made, and friendships can be forged.

Ross Development Trust

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